Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Infatuation



    You've probably experienced it - the continuing thoughts about someone who has sparked your interest,  the heart flutters whenever that person walks by, hours are spent daydreaming of a future with that special someone. It's infatuation, and I know it well, having been hit myself. Far to many of us have a hard time seeing infatuation as potentially harmful. But when we're hit with this rush of emotions we need to examine it carefully, because when you really ponder it, infatuation can be a sinful response to attraction. 

Any time we allow someone to remove God as our focus of affection, we've gone from harmless appreciation of someone's beauty or personality to the dangerous area of infatuation. Rather than making God the object of our longing, we wrongly direct these feelings toward another human. We bow to someone other than God, hoping this person will meet our needs and bring fulfillment. When infatuated with someone it's our tendency to build up that person in our imaginations as the perfect guy or girl. We think we'd be happy forever if that person would return our affections. Of course, we can only sustain our silly crush because we've exchanged fantasy for all the information we lack about the person. However, as soon as we get to know that person's true identity and discover that our "perfect" man or woman is just like everyone else, our dreams fade and we move on to a new crush.

To break from this pattern of infatuation, we must reject the idea that a human relationship can ever deliver complete fulfillment. When we find our hearts and minds slipping into the world of fantasy we must pray, "God, help me to remember that no human can ever take your place in my life. You are my strength, my hope and my reward. Bring me back to reality and help me to focus on you".   

                                             ~Grace~

Photo copyright: Lara @ a million pieces 

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

A gift wrapped in love


   I often wonder why God gave us so much. We could survive on far less. He could have left the world flat and grey; we wouldn't have known the difference. But he didn't. He put orange in the sunrise and splashed the sky with blue. Did he have to make puppies so furry? Was it necessary for birds to sing? How about the funny way that chickens sprint or the beauty of lightning when in strikes? Why give flowers fragrance? Why give food it's delicious taste? Every gift that He bestowed reveals the vast Love he has for us. But no gift displays his love more that the gifts of the cross. This gift came not wrapped in paper, but in love. 

                                             ~Grace~
My beautiful cousin took this photo on the beach in Maui, Hawaii (Thanks for letting me use it!)

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Our Hearts


   I've come to realize that the human heart doesn't like taking orders from the mind. The time will come for all of us when we don't feel like doing the godly, sensible thing we've decided to do. But how will we respond when our hearts lean toward a full-scale rebellion? If we don't prepare ourselves, we'll feel tempted to run from our morals and standards. The sooner we become acquainted with the contents of our hearts, the better. Far too many of us are happily unaware of how deceitful the core of our beings can truly be. When we think "heart", we picture cute, cutout valentines. But often if we really dig through out hearts, we'd find selfishness, lust, envy and lies. The effect is like discovering that the sweet old lady living next door is on FBI's most wanted list. Though we might be shocked, God is not. I believe he not only understands how delicate our hearts are, He knows how easily it can be pulled in the wrong direction. 

                                               ~Grace~

My own photo taken in Maui

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Lord, Teach Me

I want to ask you a question: Do you believe your prayers are really making a difference? Think about it: deep in your heart, do you ever wonder if God is hearing you when you pray? When your finished praying, are you convinced that your prayers have accomplished something? Are you satisfied with your prayer life? If you are like many others, your are saying, "Yes!" Since Interacting with others, I've realized that people really want to pray; they want to know that God hears them and that their prayers are effective. In fact, I recently read about a survey done in 2005 on more than eight hundred pastors in the United States. The survey revealed that only 16 percent say they are "very satisfied" with their prayer lives. That leaves an overwhelming 84 percent who feel their prayer lives could definitely be better. Like the pastors in the survey, I believe there are countless others who are un-satisfied with their prayer lives. They're not sure God is really listening when they talk to Him; they don't understand why some prayers seem to go unanswered and wonder if their praying 'right' or praying enough. One of the most important prayers a person can ever utter is: "Lord teach me to pray." As I've heard before; it's not just, "Lord, teach me to pray," but, "Lord, teach me to pray." I believe many people today are asking the same questions the disciples asked nearly 2000 years ago: "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). Even though they spent a great deal of time with Jesus, listening to Him, learning from Him and watching Him work miracles, they still felt the need for His instruction on prayer. The disciples went to Jesus as a group asking Him to teach them to pray, but as I made that same request as an individual, God answered me and brought a wonderful improvement to my prayer life. Such as: 
-I have moved from praying panic-driven, selfish prayers (prayers that come from one's mind, will, or emotions) to Spirit-filled, faith-based prayers. 
- No longer do I approach God in fear, wondering if He will really hear me and send an answer to my prayers. I now approach Him as His Word teaches me to do, and with great expectation. 
I believe if you will ask God to teach you to pray, you will also experience great changes in the way you pray, tremendous satisfaction in your relationship with God, and a refreshing freedom.
 ~Grace~ 
I took this photo on a beach in Maui, Hawaii. During my time there I had some of the most amazing experiences with prayer and seeing how God can use His breathtaking creation to move us deeply.